In Focus:  What The "Asian Century" Means
For The United States

The growing pressures of China’s rapid development and India’s amazing tech job growth on the U.S. economy are a hot topic. We have grown accustomed to living in the “Asian Century”, in which the world economy will be propelled by the overwhelming progress of the coming Asian superpowers. This is anything but hype. The growth rates and improvements in education, infra- structure, jobs, and incomes countries such as India and China have achieved over recent years are simply astounding. As a result, their growing prosperity makes them attractive not only as sources of blue- and white-collar labor, but also as huge emerging consumer markets. In the long haul, their economies are bound to leave the United States in the dust.  Or are they?

Challenging Economics

The U.S. economy is still nine times larger than China’s and almost twenty times the size of India’s.  In absolute terms, it grew three times as much in 2004, by about $450B (+4%) versus China’s $135B (+9.5%) or India’s $50B (+8.5%).  Yet, it is predicted that China will pass the United States by 2050.  That assumes that on average, China’s GDP will continue to grow at an annual rate of 8 percent, versus only 3 percent in the States, for the next 45 years(!).

There is no historic precedent for this in the annals of modern economy. Many economists find it hard to believe. However, there is little doubt that China’s rise as the world’s manufacturing powerhouse and India’s ascent as a provider of technology and services, combined with both countries’ increasing investments in education and infrastructure, will ultimately make them into economic forces to be reckoned with.

This is neither reason to panic nor to relax.  Asia’s giants still face equally giant challenges. China has its hands full to adjust its political, social, and economic rule sets, while battling to expand the infrastructure, use its resources more efficiently, and fix numerous environmental issues. India’s biggest problem may well be the disparity of its cities and regions, together with the enormous population growth and dismal infrastructure outside of the Indian technology centers.

The key question is how the United States can leverage its own strengths to moderate the risks of the global shifts and participate in the opportunities they represent. Two points appear most important.

The U.S. must strengthen, or revive, its role as the world’s innovation powerhouse.

America’s core assets are the values and passions of its people. Few others around the world are as happy to take on new challenges and risks, as confident that they can make anything happen if they really want to, or as impatient when it comes to bringing plans to life. These traits continue to equip Americans with what it takes to remain among the greatest innovators in the world.

Its worst enemy may well be the country itself.  Its education crisis is real.  Whether at the high school or the graduate level, American schools rarely score well in international competitions.  Prospects look dim should the U.S. fail to make up some lost ground in this field.

Next, the country must continue to nurture entrepreneurial spirits, albeit in a changing environment.  With business going global across most industries, U.S. entrepreneurs and business leaders need to learn what it takes to be successful internationally – without losing any of their creativity, drive, or passion.

America must cope with the realities of the 21st century.

Make no mistake: all those manufacturing jobs the U.S. lost in recent years are gone and will not come back.  Those that still exist will likely also go to cheap-labor countries around the world. Attempts like the recent U.S. embargo of Chinese textiles only shift the work from China to countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, and others.

Rather than fighting losing battles, the U.S. must leverage its world leadership role to remain “the place to be.”  The country’s lifeblood, its ability to attract the world’s sharpest minds, is threatened by the post-9/11 decline in immigration and college admissions of foreign students.  If the United States fails to attract the best of the best around the world as it has for decades, it is bound to fall back into mediocrity.

Little is lost at this point. The global economy presents huge opportunities for those nimble enough to seize them, and the U.S. can be one of those who do. Yet, there remains a lot of work to be done for the country to maintain its leadership position, allowing it to thrive in the “Asian Century.”

(The above is an excerpt from an in-depth article available on our web page)
  Read the full article

Book Of The Month
I'm a Stranger Here Myself


An American, famous travel writer Bill Bryson, rediscovers his own country after almost twenty years of living abroad. This collection of columns is an interesting mix of humor and reflection, deep insight and sobering critique.

(click title for full book review)


Web Site Of The Month
The World Factbook


Very comprehensive site with information on geography, people, government, economy, and more for over 200 different countries.

(click title to visit this web site)


Quote Of The Month

America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy

(John Updike)


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Workshop On October 13 in Richardson, TX:
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October 14:    Initiating International Projects

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Global Business Practices:
Ten Tips For Doing Business in the United States

  • Move faster in business than you may be used to. Most Americans firmly believe that 'time is money'.
  • Communication can be very direct, especially in the northern and eastern U.S. Never take this personally.
  • Get a legal briefing upfront. The U.S. is the most litigious society in the world and lawsuits can become very costly.
  • Though some are tough negotiators, most people seek to reach win-win solutions and are willing to compromise.
  • Decisions are usually made by individuals. It is vital to get direct access to the decision maker.
  • In the U.S., managers are expected to know where to
    get information, not necessarily to have the answers themselves.
  • This is a "linear-active" culture. Most people prefer to follow checklists and dislike digressions or interruptions.
  • "How are you?" is not an inquiry about your health. The best reply is "Fine, and you?"
  • Titles matter little in this country. It is often better not to mention your academic degrees.
  • Eye contact should be frequent as this conveys sincerity. Smile often and remain friendly overall.

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